When I first started fostering it really was a step into the unknown. My wife and I had decided it was something that we would try as an alternative to our 9-5 existence.
I was commuting into Central London and she was working locally. I had worked 9-5 since I was 16, mostly in London, and it was beginning to lose its enjoyment.
We both had children from children from previous relationships so childcare was nothing new. The plan would be that we both underwent the training but, initially, I would carry on working in my job at a Law Firm in Holborn, Central London, so the majority of childcare responsibilities would fall on my wife.
The training was with a North London Local Authority (LA). My wife would attend all of the courses and I would attend courses, mainly in the evening, with her. I actually found the training really enjoyable as the training officer was fun and brought lots of laughter into the courses.
After the training was completed we had a very short wait for our first placement. The placement was a new born little girl and she introduced us to the world of Fostering. It was the perfect first placement, no family involvement and very little Social Worker involvement.
It was a case of looking after her until adoptive parents could be found. It also introduced us to the heartbreak than can happen when the time comes for the child to move on. You cannot show that upset as that would be deemed unprofessional but you can share it as a couple.
It was hard, that first time, really hard. It helped that we got on with her adoptive parents but I can still remember now the emotions of the Saturday morning when she was collected to start her new life.
James (name changed) was quite settled in his life now. The concerns of the LA were enough to stop any chance of him moving to these ‘family members’ who had appeared out of nowhere. So now we had to start looking at slightly longer term plans.
It was time to find James a school. I sat down with my Supervising Social Worker (SSW) to discuss the best options for him. I had a good insight to the local schools from previous placements and the schools that the children of friends attended. We identified one very local school and we sat with James and looked at their website. James seemed quite impressed so we decided on that one with another school as back up.
The SSW decided to contact the school direct so it was left to them to carry the organisation. James was still really interested in a Catering career although I know, from experience, that this can change in a flash.
I had sent off for a prospectus for a local college that did courses in Catering so James could have a read and see what was involved.
James was really relaxed about the whole situation although I knew that nearer the time that may change. I’m sure we all remember was starting at a new school was like, even with parental support.
A Simply Fostering Blogging Foster Carer.